How Our Signet Rings Are Made?

Hancocks Signet Rings

All our signet rings are made from 100% recycled gold which is something we’re very proud of. According to the World Gold Council, about 75% of the worlds annual gold demand comes from newly mined gold whilst the remaining 25% is recycled gold. Of this, over 90% comes from recycled jewellery with the remaining extracted from technology. It is important to remember that recycled gold is of the exact same quality and durability as newly mined gold. The unwanted gold is melted down and refined using traditional techniques and then combined with other metals (known as alloys) to create the fineness and colour desired. We make our signet rings in three different colour golds, yellow, rose and white and in a selection of 9ct, 14ct and 18ct fineness.

There are several different ways to make a signet ring but the process we use is known as die-stamped or die-struck. This method begins with a sheet of solid, compressed precious metal such as 18ct yellow gold. This is positioned into a hydraulic press inside which are steel dies that will drop down and strike the sheet of gold, effectively cutting out a flattened signet ring shape. This works a bit like a pastry cutter, stamping out the desired size and shape of the ring in two-dimensional form. A side effect of this way of forming the ring shape is that it further compresses the gold, making it even denser and more durable which is exactly what you want for a ring that is going to be worn every day, potentially for generations.

At this stage the ring resembles the shape of a boxer’s belt with the opened out ends yet to be formed into a round. It is passed to a goldsmith who will heat the ring blank up and carefully shape it around a special block in order to create a perfect circle. The ends will be joined together via a process called soldering and then the ring will be filed and polished ready to be passed on to the engraver.

We believe this method of making signet rings is superior to casting, which is the way many rings are made today. This is where metal is heated up to become molten and then poured into a mould and left to set hard, just like making plaster of Paris models when you were a child. However, just like the plaster method, this results in tiny bubbles within the finished item and therefore a higher level of porosity than die-stamping which negatively impacts durability and appearance.

The solidity and increased density of a die-stamped ring allows for a perfectly smooth surface and crisp clean engraving. It feels wonderfully weighty and solid, the quality is evident the minute you pick it up, a ring that will last your lifetime and generations to come.